It’s true that this Saturday’s Second Annual LuckyRice Feast, hosted by chef Sang Yoon (Lukshon, Father’s Office), will feature the dishes of some of L.A.’s hottest Asian restaurants—Night + Market, Hamasaku, and Starry Kitchen are expected at the event. But you’ll also get to taste 14 Far East-inspired cocktails, made by some of our city’s finest bartenders. That cheer you hear is from cocktail fans, since food festivals are usually all about wine.
“Los Angeles has one of the finest and most innovative cocktail cultures in the country so we decided to take a page from our N.Y. Cocktail Feast to select ‘epicurean bartenders’ to create Asian inspired dishes in a glass,” said LuckyRice founder Danielle Chang.
Here’s a peek at what you’ll be drinking at the event, which takes place at the Bookbindery in Culver City. If for some reason cocktails aren’t your thing, Asahi beer, Bordeaux, Champagne, and LAMILL coffee will also be available.
Connie and Ted’s bartender Rosie Ruiz will be serving up her “Tea-nage Dream” made with Oolong/jasmine tea-infused Bombay Sapphire east, rice elixir, demerara syrup, and coconut powder. “It’s an Eastern spin off the classic ‘Alexander’ cocktail,” says Rosie. She suggests sipping it with dessert, specifically “anything chocolate.” But enjoy the seafood and pork bites with her “We Be Shrubbing” cocktail, which is made with 42 Below vodka, watermelon cayenne shrub, ginger ale, and simple syrup.
Brandyn Tepper of Hinoki & the Bird is doing up Asian twists on classic cocktails. His “Matcha Rickey” is a take on a “Southside Rickey” and made with Bombay Sapphire East, matcha fruit syrup, lime juice, muddled Thai basil, and club soda. “Its lively green color is inviting and its taste light, crisp and refreshing.” For his “Enter the Dragon” cocktail, a variation of a “Tequila Honeysuckle,” he infused Corzo Silver tequila with chili and mixed it with mezcal, lime juice, honey, and dragonfruit. “This drink is a quaffer—meaning to be consumed heartedly and often.”
You can check out Sadie Kitchen & Lounge’s new summer cocktail, “Summer Lovin’” at the event. Made with Bombay Sapphire East, strawberry/cantaloupe syrup, Aperol, lemon juice, and soda water, Sadie bartender Giovanni Martinez calls it a “wonderful fruity, floral and botanical drink” that’s richer in flavor than a regular “Aperol Spritz.” He will also offer the “Highlander Punch,” a Dewar’s Highlander Honey cocktail which is “tart, honeyed and floral with a little ginger kick.”
As an homage to “the delicious Thai food so prevalent in Los Angeles,” La Descarga’s Joe Swifka created the “Thai Town Sour” with Bombay Sapphire East, ginger and basil syrup, coconut, chili, and lime juice. While his “Kretek Cocktail” (Cazadores tequila, clove syrup, coffee, and bitters) was inspired by the time he consulted for a restaurant in Jakarta and smoked Kretek, an Indonesian word for clove cigarettes.
Sean Hamilton of new Hollywood bar No Vacancy will be making “Hemingway on the China Front,” a daiquiri with Bacardi, fresh pink grapefruit juice, fresh pressed lime juice, Luxardo maraschino, and simple syrup. “I figured the dry and tartness of it would go well with the light spice and sweet of the food being served at the event,” he said. He’ll also showcase one of my favorites off No Vacancy’s menu, the “China Doll.” Here’s his recipe for you to make at home.
China Doll by Sean Hamilton of No Vacancy
1 1/2 oz. Bombay Sapphire East
4-5 dashes of Jasmine water
3/4 oz. Fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz. Coconut jasmine cream
1 oz. Egg white
1) Combine all ingredients in a shaker without ice and dry shake for 20 seconds.
2) Then add ice to the shaker and shake cold.
3) Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with an edible flower.